Tire Industry Association Hosts Virtual 2020 Tire Industry Honors Event

TIA Honors Top Dealers, VAA at Virtual Awards Event

Top tire dealers, the Virginia Automotive Association and Michelin/TIA scholarship winners were among those honored at this year's virtual awards ceremony.

The Tire Industry Association recognized some of the industry’s top tire dealers, a state association executive and scholarship winners at this year’s Tire Industry Honors program.

Brian Rigney, past TIA president, kicked off the virtual ceremony reviewing his time as president of TIA in a year of unprecedented twists and turns. Rigney said as economies across the globe started to shut down due to COVID-19, he used it as a time to “challenge our [TIA’s] mission” and reach tire dealers through virtual training on a variety of topics. Through this initiative, TIA updated its basic commercial tire service (CTS) training, released a virtual CTS training in Spanish and launched a leadership training course for store managers.

“The response was fantastic,” Rigney noted about the trainings, which he said were attended by hundreds of TIA members.

Rigney also introduced new TIA President Dan Nothdurft, founder of Tires Tires Tires in Sioux City, Iowa and Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Nothdurft remarked on how the tire industry has been able to provide a living not only for he and his family but also for countless others in the industry, allowing them to live out their dream.

“The tire industry has opened the door for so many people to provide for their family and created jobs to serve each community’s tire needs,” he said, listing the dreams he’s fulfilled as a tire dealer.

“My fifth dream is leading the tire industry and working with some of the greatest assets the tire industry has to offer. Living the dream is what the tire industry is all about and that’s what America’s all about. Here’s to another 100 years of The Tire Industry Association and living the dream.”

Top tire dealers and state associations in the industry were also recognized at this year’s event, including 2020 Tire Review Top Shop Winner Waukegean Tire & Supply.

“The Waukegan Tire team works hard every day on continuous improvement, and, in the process, is raising the bar in the tire industry,” said Tire Review Editor Mary DellaValle in her remarks about the business. “Its guiding principles are based on doing things the ‘Waukegan Way,’ a guiding philosophy based on values of always working hard and with integrity, treating people with respect and kindness (like family) and exceeding expectations.”

An addition to this year’s Industry Honors event was the presentation of the State Executive Leadership Award. Roy Littlefield IV, TIA’s director of government affairs, presented the award to Steve Akridge, executive director of the Virginia Automotive Association. Littlefield commended Akridge on his leadership of the association in defeating bills in the Virginia state legislature that would have abolished the state’s vehicle inspection program, which Akridge said brings in $32 million into the state’s automotive industry.

“It was an uphill battle and it took a strong team to win,” Akridge said, thanking members and staff of the Virginia Automotive Association for their efforts.

To round out the awards, Cara Cornelius, director of wholesale and car dealer business for Michelin North America, announced the winners of the 2020 Michelin/TIA Scholarship Program, which are awarded to students of employees of TIA-member companies. The award recipients included:

  • Kate Burnett of Granger, Indiana, whose father, Bruce Burnett, is employed by Tire Rack in South Bend. Kate plans to study environmental sustainability at Indiana University.
  • Brendan McLernan of Philadelphia, whose father, Matthew McLernan, is employed by McCarthy Tire Service in Philadelphia. Brendan plans to study engineering at Penn State University.
  • Charles Weltens of Bryan, Texas, whose father, Charles Weltens, is employed by Pilgers Tire and Auto Center in College Station, Texas. Charles plans to study mechanical engineering at Rice University.

The recipients will share $6,250 in scholarships for the 2020-2021 academic year that can be used to support the costs of college tuition, fees and books.

To close out the meeting, Rigney reminded TIA members of training that would take place Nov. 3 and 4 as part of the association’s industry week events. To register and view the training sessions, click here.

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